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Rush - Hemispheres CD (album) cover




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4.37 | 2484 ratings

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5 stars Hemispheres shows Rush at the apex of their prog side. From this point on, the band favored shorter, yet no less complex, songs rather than epics. This is also the last album to feature Peart's penchant for mythological and sci-fi lyrics. This is Rush's most guitar-driven studio album; Lifeson dazzles everywhere. The title track continues the space epic of Cygnus X-1 by fusing it with Greek mythology. Every member of the band is terrific with great riffs from Geddy and Alex, not to mention Peart's incomparable drumming. The lyrics serve as a metaphor for the struggle of logic and emotion, reflected in the artwork. If this is to be Rush's last sidelong epic, what a send-off it is.

The second side hints at where the band will go from here. "Circumstances" deals with the Peart's initial failure to make it in the music business before he joined Rush. It features some great high vocals from Geddy and is the first song to truly hint at Peart's ability to pen relevant lyrics. "The Trees" is a metaphor for socialism, where the maples argue with the oaks for getting all of the shade. Eventually, all trees are kept equal because they are cut down to size. Lifeson's guitar here is beautiful. The album closes with "La Villa Strangiato," a mind-blowing instrumental that has both Peart's and Lifeson's best performances. Lee's performance is second only to YYZ, which had yet to be written. This song is nine minutes of impossibly complex drumming, heavy riffs, great basslines, and beautiful solos. This is my second favorite Rush track (next to 2112).

This album has the honor of being the only Rush album with absolutely no filler. It is a watershed for Rush, and many fans stopped listening after this, as the band began to change. That's a shame, beacuse some of their best work had yet to come.

Grade: A

1800iareyay | 5/5 |


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